Kristy Glass Knits: Dana from Yards of Happiness

166 167 sweaters in the last five years yeah glass here in me Washington DC we call it the Beltway area right for new fun but I could not find a better name for that right I used to live here in Maryland yes and we're a little foreign DC's a little stuffy you know though I did notice listening to the radio here that they were calling it the district and I have not heard that before you'll hear the district the DMV for DC Maryland generally like so that is terrible yeah but they call it the DMV but yeah anyway I'm here with please introduce yourself I am Dana William Johnson I am the blogger behind the art of accessories and I said they're of accessories no happiness and this is jellybeans jellybeans shares some we're done and I am borrowing your to come so because I just think it looks more like because a lot of color pal yeah I was gonna say well I don't know what I this is my first interview of the day and I've been up super early but yes I thought it matched better especially your glasses with the blue I just feel like it flowed better than mine too comes up tomorrow man anyway so on Instagram though your call me call me dwj yeah dwj so I didn't really like get your name until recently when I really had to concentrate because the call throws me off so I changed it because it's so like I said originally the art of accessories that was my blog from way back in grad school yeah that got me and the blogger and social media so my username used to beat the a of a regard that accessories got it um and that's just what I started all social with and and eventually I was like oh I should have changed dwj it's all the view W J's are going yeah so now everything you just call me DW j and most of my students I'm a carla professor so most of my students call me professor BW like that because for some reason saying Williams Johnson is too much too much they don't like the – yeah so their millennium it's a little it's a little easier I go by BW j well and I mean I feel like we're the same similar age yeah I'm 40 I turned 40 40 and so back when the internet was um we thought it was just like we were like soccer mom 825 like so now people know like just do just do your name no it's I was always boring it used to be Dana Michelle and then I got married and then it was Dana Williams Jonathan or UW Jonathan but yeah you know and I tell myself that all it sound like just er the crazy stuff if you're are you the great yeah okay so let's let's talk about the story so I'm a little bit familiar with it but I'd love to hear it in your words from your first blocked second blog if you wish to touch on why you went from one to the other I think that if you really a lot of people relate to your story so um I started blogging as a project in graduate school so I started a blog called the art of accessories way back in oh six or seven and it kind of took off it was about accessories beauty and a little bit of Technology I'm always a little bit of a digital tech nerd but it was really at the beginning boom of Twitter and social media really taking off and brands participating so I do some amazing partnerships and I was in grad school this project that I graduated had legs of its own oh so I just said you know I'm gonna keep going I'm gonna keep doing this I've loved for five years had great opportunities I went to Fashion Week I did all kinds of fun stuff and then I just felt like the market was super saturated I was kind of done with it um then I started in as an adjunct professor so I teach at Howard University in DC the marketing department shoved my students who will watch on YouTube and one of my corset I make them create blogs okay so after Craig blog they have to create their own content they have to create social media strategy and I said you know I really should get back after vlogging so that I'm fresh and I can answer questions and know like I don't play around with every social media so I've been on snapchat I do you know I hadn't needed to be in it and so I had learned some knit in 2011 so it's only been eight years and it was around 2015 the year that was here my dad passed away and I knit 13 Twitter's in the year when he was in Hospice Wow and I finally felt like I had something to kind of share it was the thing that knitting was the thing that soothed me it calmed me a you know when he passed away instead of people asking me oh how do you feel they go what are you knitting yes because like people come over to my mom's house after he passed away to come and visit us and see us and I would just be voraciously knitting something and so it gave people a better way to have a conversation with me oh it was like a means to an end yeah instead of I mean because the obvious question is whenever someone you're really close to passed away yeah I feel horrible I feel like trash but instead it was 40 work what do you think it and I realized kind of through that whole process that knitting brings me a sense of happiness and joy and it kind of gave me this it's like a meditative thing and do it every day even it was just a couple rows and so I said you know what I don't feel like there's anybody who looks like me I don't feel like anybody who creates projects the way that I do but I also have turned this questions and I still have more to learn so I'll just start blogging about that I was like nah I thought about that we'll see what happened nothing anything will come of it and then so that was in 2015 I started blogging um my students always are interested because they love to see what I make and I wear to class and like every time I did you make that Professor yes you all know I'm it when they give her when I give them tests I'm it um and then it became the dog sweaters and things like that and that was everyone was like oh this is adorable or oh you did I think it was when I knit this set and pom-pom shared it and they were just like this tickled us to death and it just kind of became a thing because this sweater just reminds people wanna know these are the do remain this is from pom-pom and it's a mix of berroco weekend yarns so it's a common so at least and jelly beans always cold people I was like ah you put her on the sweaters she is five pounds and always shaking cold so she's freezing in the AC and we always have our t-shirts all come along and then we have our wool so can we go back a little bit to the grieving process but involve knitting because I know that grief can come in forms so I think most people are probably familiar with it in the very sort of obvious sense of someone passes away you have grief but there's other things that you have to grieve in life for example maybe a child is diagnosed with something that like maybe autism or like severe autism or something that just changes what you thought your child was going to be like you have one view of them and then oh suddenly this means they're it's gonna be different than what I thought or a job loss or maybe you lose a limb and and I don't say that in a joking way like just different things happen throughout our lives that we're still alive but we have to grieve this change so I think that something we as humans are always working on is how do we make that interaction about the person grieving and not about us yeah and how it affects us and so you mentioned people could ask you yeah people gonna ask me what I'm making what was I doing and that was a nice gift you gave them yes because we need to get better at that right and I don't think you realize it or how difficult it is until you go through the grief process yourself yes and I don't think you realize cuz I tell them all the time you don't know what someone else was going through at this exact know thats right so if somebody has a bad day of something like I try to give people a pass I don't know what's happening me I don't know we might have happen between the drive down and you know it's um and so if for me I thought you know what I'm I I shut down when it comes to scenarios like that and I really kind of shut down when my dad passed away and my best friend knew how to handle me and so I would tell her like I will text you at the end of every day so you know that I'm okay but I don't want to talk and I don't want to discuss this if we knew it was coming yet a pancreatic cancer like we had he'd had years with us but that's like sick yeah yeah um well actually wasn't sick until the very end so we had about three solid years of time to travel and do things and so it was just knowing that we had to say goodbye and it wasn't a surprise to anyone but it was still he was such a big presence in such a big part of our life of like I don't want to do this I don't talk about it so the Knitting became the thing where that became everyone else was focused like I remember I was knitting a neon and it was Madeline Tosh neon peach um sweater and I was knitting a baby sweater for a friend who had like a six month old baby and so then I would kind of go back and forth between two projects and when people come in and out of the house it would just ask me needles today what do you work on and then it will kind of take the come it would lift my movie with lighten things and so then if you did want to talk about my dad I might be more open to something more lighthearted if you so if that role is reversed now I just lost my dad and you're visiting me what what did you learn like what could someone say or do that maybe isn't about finding any like do's and dont's any tell the waiter do's and don't I think everybody's different I think it's read the person um you know we had friends who brought over all kinds of food and stuff but then brought over paper plates paper towels toilet paper toilet paper and he said you know my dad passed away we had all these people in her house and all I remember it's I kept having to go to this toilet paper so I could take care of paper towels and they like I obviously care of all these people instead of people taking care of me interesting um and so that's the thing is I had a girl prominent passed away probably had a traumatic event head of surgery so my thing was literally driving her around her on the errands that she needed to do it was Oh your mom wants Chinese food I'll go get Chinese food like oh no leave it I'll do that I think I just figured out what works for the person if the person doesn't want to talk don't press them yeah um if they do want to talk share great stories yeah um be be that light for someone and then I mean people try yeah they do they try but if my dad was such a big personality and such a caring loving person then we would find we were consoling people more than they were yeah and my husband that same week like broke a tooth vulgar my mom's out so my mom sent us to their dentist and we had to tell the dentist's office that my dad had passed like two days and the receptionist burst in on tears in the hygienist person day then the dentist comes out and likes and I'm like but my husband's and pain yes so if you cook like we talked about my dad but like the to see is hurting right now please thank my husband in the back like why have they left me alone and I'm Duffy one job yeah one job so it was that was a it was this one of those scenarios are so many people loved him yeah I did it really we realized we shared him with something yeah that we were gonna have to console a lot of people – yeah yeah yeah oh sure okay the chair Bob chairs got a call okay I was gonna say that just one more thing on this topic is that I had a friend who recently lost her husband and similar situation where she knew he was ill but it still happens and it's still a thing and I felt compelled to just go over and knit with her because I know that she crochets and then whatever came out would come you know would come out and and I loved that we had knitting as that vehicle like you're talking about to just sort of start yeah and then if she wanted to talk about him she could and I would do that like sitting silence and then just come over hey you'll pull out your needles just hang out yeah but I'm happy that I've been able to take yarn and turn it into this kind of positive light from totally I didn't anticipate that I didn't see it that way it was just this thing I liked but it's brought me a lot of joy what initially turned you to knitting learning to knit I had the big head and I wanted to know how to make hats I was attired and I mean cute hats that could fit my head and I have always been a crafty person I'm not okay so where I'm I painted in the past things like that and I said to my mom I think I'm it cuz I didn't know anyone who knew I done it and she told me you don't need another hobby she's like don't do it so that you don't need to spend any more money and then two weeks later she sends me a message can you make me this hat you literally said to me I don't need another hobby and so I found a brew phone and I took a class and I'm really I'm a Virgo so I'm very type a I'm very organized I'm very much about perfection and I asked my teacher you supposed to feel like you're gonna vomit when you're knitting and she was like so we're gonna have to learn how to calm down so thank you got I was spiked she's like you need to chill it out just enjoy she's like you literally been taking lessons for like a week and you vomit I was like I don't like you yeah so we're having covered the bucket yeah I mean I'm just knitting like I'm so like in it so once I kind of like let it go and she's like this isn't about perfection this is about learning and I now take the mindset of even when I make mistakes I need to learn from the mistakes because everything that so many people you need so many sweaters oh I can never do that why not oh we all have it in it you know how to knit yeah like why not um let's use it as a teachable moment a learning moment you know if your gauge is off now you've learned something the next time I have gone through and done an entire sweater and blocked it and like I'm gonna drop the stitch I'm gonna sleep like there's literally to the stitching out like I've had that moment learn from that figured out how to fix that you know everybody has a it was too tight or it was too big or maybe your neck line came out a little bit loose like figure out fix it figure out what works I totally agree with that and I used to say the same thing I could never knit anything besides a scarf I could never I could never and I must say that scarves and baby like it's was so boring oh by everybody their mom when I'm gonna make them a baby blanket and I was like a lot of times and this is horrible um so I started knitting hats and then take like each year learned something new account like and then I remember talking to Karen Templar about feeling like I I i wasn't legit enough to make a sweater and she's like you made mittens and can do a thumb hold yeah that's a basically a baby sweater she's like so if you do that like she's like you literally just did mittens you can do that yeah it sounds like well if I can do that I guess so such a cliff and so that I can answer all the questions I had first day I was like oh and I was fine of gangbusters that day and so that's when you went into the sweater land it sounds like essentially uh-huh yeah do you ever what your first sweater pattern Oh Gemini Jane Richmond um got a little lace of it I still have it it's knit and here bethey so I can wear it in the summer and then you say empathy you're an agent it's champion yeah which I think was also good because it taught me to look at alternatives to war because I live in Maryland and it's not me now I'm gonna go to Chicago in a couple weeks and I probably throws what 20 it was snowing the other day I was talking to my cousin and but for Maryland's that much wool isn't necessary so that really taught me to start thinking about all of their fibers all other blends what I'm not you know people of selling me aren't I'm not I never everything I know with acrylics all the way to Kashmir because I like to play around and see what I can get out of stuff I also feel like I'm not knitting a friend a wool baby sweater when you have a three-month-old that has just pooped or exploded all over this thing and they're not thinking about it because they're sleep-deprived and they're gonna throw it in the washer and dryer and then it'll be yeah and so when people are like I can't believe you have AK resume no no totally appropriate up because that child is going to explode some things on whatever that is I'm like I don't have kids but I know that that's going to happen um so ya know because of that first sweater it made me think beyond wool yeah and then I think to date now I have two sweaters on my needles right now so I think we're in the 166 167 sweaters in the last five years and I don't they are not know I can get on it so that means adult sized sweaters at least short took three-quarter length or long sleeves I don't care any of my tank tops or sleeveless tops and then I do count children's sweaters and dogs what you do but 70% of that are adult sweaters yeah yeah and I have a doubt I can average out to full side with all sweaters a month and then 27 sweaters in 2017 I was really stressed on top of other projects too but that was that was the year that I I didn't I just was like I'm just gonna make whatever I want yeah but deadlines are there and I cranked out 27 sweaters in a single year and all my co-workers tell you're like she always had something on her like she's always there I'm just impressed that you only have two on your kneels at a time I think that's what I have a problem I have cast on itis know I usually like to so I have to throw every purpose I have two sweaters right now so I have labrie owe him by Negra feeding a testament that one fur before making my cousin one a lovely metallic purple and metallic black show it to you free so that's brioche and then I'm doing the Alison cardigan by net bot which has a lot of stockinette body that I'm on right now which I love so but I need the break I asked you Lord yes so like I knit five inches of stockinette during Avengers in game okay I can do it I do it every other day I'm gonna start them in the dark like I can feel those I can feel it I can't um I know that's me I can't brush in the dark no even you'd come out my black well it is it is ruined um but I will brioche chuckling brioche to me is soothing uh-huh at the end of what might be a crazy day I need that rhythmic back and forth and stockinette doesn't do it but I love stockinette for commuting so I have a 30-minute Metro ride to school and thirty minutes there thirty minutes back always have a seat and then just work it out work it out so I love projects like that or I'll usually have some Westnet shawl mm-hmm that I can have on the train and I've memorized that pattern and I don't have yeah I don't have it's not super complex I don't feel like I'm gonna worry I have to keep going back in my bag so that's the kind of stuff that I like to have that's portable and then usually at home it's something a little bit more complex like brioche or it's usually the top portion Yocum sweater totally yeah I I completely feel you on that yeah okay talk about color piece of color you mean like well you know the color in your home is this is more subdued it is in previous years it was there's three colors in you now mint teal and there's a mocha yeah the previous color palette was apple green orange and a buttery Allah yes that was extra those a lot but this has pops of the teal and but talked about because all of yours finish objects have color right or do not do more of a variety of neutrals also I try I try I do try I try like I'm sure I gotta go I will this head foot in neutral yeah that's like I've dude I bought this time for something else and didn't make it was like I didn't use it though but like I there was this I have a cardigan it was supposed to be an all gray cardigan and pin it and open the young peach all the time um I try but I get so bored I love color and it just makes me feel so much better than in the rainbow like I just is it cuz we were raised in the eighties maybe the Lisa Frank I mean I but I thought my mother's colorful yeah I'm not one of those I didn't it with a woman on Thursdays my mom and I have lunch with a family friend of ours oh we met my mom designed it but her friend does my mom just breath lunch and jokes love and she our friend and wears a color palette of white black and gray and she looks completely chic her hair is completely white I'm like I can't move it I understand it too because my daughter especially she's 14 she's always like mom you could just be so New York and you could be like you've got like the neon pink and I'm like that would be me in New York and my husband's in New York remise is from Brooklyn yeah and I'm so but his favorite color is red so but he's he keeps a color palette my husband is typically blue gray his pop is red red is his favorite color I am the broad spectrum all the colors and I always them like I am I even I have a sweater that I love my roomie cardigan and it is this deep burgundy berry color with navy blue woven up like it's never just solid yeah um now having it something for someone else so mine it worthy circle is small hmm a circle yes my sister are two sisters my mom my husband my best friend Jessica and my cousin Sofia who lives in Chicago there and then it were there they all get a sweater a year ago but their color palettes are all so my sister but my sister Helen loves more of the grave and the blues and the rest colors the shuffle is purple so sometimes like and maybe it'll be five you'll want it to do that more my sister Anne loves pink and yellow good so that makes me happy my mom looks amazing in like lime green and bright cobalt so I like mixing those two huh um oh is that did you give her that one to confess my god okay um but ya know so everybody has different color palettes I try to play into that but it's hard for me to so it's like even this this Navy that's my neutral yeah but it's such a good miss Babs makes a really good bullet that this is Babs that's her McHale's Navy and it's my favorite shade of navy and that's my neutral like I don't really wear black Dan I wore all black outfit to work once everybody I'm good are you okay and I'm kind of like really graphic black pants and hot paint shoes and I got asked so many times that one day like if I had a wife they're gonna ask me that like I don't think I've ever seen you in black interesting so I don't lean into that at all I know and I will say to the opposite of that when I wear a very loud hat and it doesn't feel loud to me and I imagine it wouldn't to you because of me wear color yeah but I will wear it and I will get approached so much more oh yeah by strangers when I have on like a crazy thing I have the person on the train when everybody else is wearing black and gray coat I'm in like the lime battery decode and I'm like I haven't been on the train I realize like I'm standing ya know like I know but it makes me yes I don't know it's like why would you oh wait no it's already dreary and gray but that also people in DC have recognized me because of knitwear on the and so I'll get something it's the lime-green with the palm and a money oh yeah yeah and I don't think about it like I don't think let me put on this color today to call attention or whatever it's just my natural color thing and I've had so many it was so funny I taught an MBA level of course the semester and my grad students were like every time my I wear a rain bonnet I have students like I love when you wear rain bone it's because it makes me so happy play it's just so colorful it's just and I have my rainbow madigan where it's short sleeve but it's the cows red goes to orange to yellow and they never believe that I made that one and then they always want to make you guys you know I'm in like you know this is myself but they always tell me like you come in and your knits are just happy and so I go for happy I just love it so that's why you name the blog yarn of happiness yards of happy garance of happiness um because I think about it as I go into like my favorite yarn shop here in the areas fibre space and my husband says that's your happy place like you can have a bad day I walk in there I know most of the people know I was like welcoming and it's bright and just touching yarn even if I don't buy anything it's a mood changer for me um thinking about the possibilities of what I'm gonna make with the yarn that I have I love it and even just the happiness that you give when you give them that yes is so whenever I make someone something I was just gonna ask those questions in this answer they always that's the comment that they always say whenever someone asks them about than it is oh maybe it's custom so you realize how much your friends recognize like how much work you put into it and how much they like it and so for me like I have he's like my little brother he was one of my grad assistants and then became like family to me and he does a lot of stuff for me comes down and speaks to my classes now he has a hat that I make him it's one specific style I've made it from now in three different colors and every time I see it like my Instagram or post you realize that's love like he thinks about me yeah I puts that on and I love that it makes it that makes me happy to see I love when I see a picture on facebook of like someone you're in your living room and I see my baby blanket I made you or your baby sort of like strong on the couch totally and you realize it's being used yeah that's love or I got Christmas cards with babies wearing sweaters I met them and then that made my heart explodes like and I written about it once to a girlfriend of mine handed me her newborn baby's father than a blanket in it and that was one of those moments from love and that's and when you're making it do you find that you on the person you're making it for Oh every project is very much about the person I make it for it it's very thoughtful it's very precise down to the yarn the colors the pattern that I choose it is about that person and sometimes every once in a while I will make something with no one in mind and it isn't until it's finished that I go you know what this is who this is me come on huh oh my gosh I get chills this is who I was supposed to pass for and I love that the idea of me making something or someone lets them know I gave my office 91 and it made her a really beautiful show and I just sent her note said I was thinking of you the entire time I made this and I just I just wanted you to know this thing gonna be it's called me talking on my cell phone but she never does 91 you just thank you for thinking about me so because I felt that love I don't I open this package and that's why you do it that's why you and that's what I mean I asked in it a lot of stuff but a lot of people um I don't take a quest I don't sell because I want to make what I wanna make on my timeline everyone want to make and outside of that it stopped bringing me joy totally its it stops bringing joy and then I'm like like we could talk about this subject that we were just talking about like over hours and hours forever but let's keep going so when did this one of the dogs sweater start so it's funny we had shared first and I said to my husband shares the first dog I've ever had I said I'm not gonna be that crazy dog lady I'm not gonna be I'm not gonna but and all of my friends are like but you you know you're gonna be the crazy dog like this you are very obsessive about like when I love something I love I love big I love I go hard and so it took a couple years before I even this year but I found a book that I recommend everybody to give a dog top it's a posh I think it's passionate passion it's top down it's for dogs if it's not that's how the title pattern and always will be able to sparkle sparkle is called sparkle it's a dog sweater I will type it right here in case Barbour little that's why I'm not sure I had it started because I was knitting myself a mountain high sweater with this really fun Lion Brand yarn it was like this cream tweed color with rainbow flex all in it and the whole time I've been in it she'd been using the ball of yarn as a pillow I had enough left in the skein I said okay I'm makers so I made her a sweater and when I tell you up with that mind you eat my husband swears this is her famous sweater when I put that sweater on though she was like you can't tell me nothing like that dog was like take my picture my and sometimes when you try and take her out of it she'll keep pushing her head begging like I'm not ready cuz it's really soft and he called that her grandmother because she said she looks like a little lady but it really is the cutest thing so I made her that one and then we would start to take family photos for the holidays and I bought a sweater that would match our color palette so one day I was like wow I just I have this girl that could make one so I had made my husband his sweater for him I sort of myself in an in share one and then everybody was like oh and then it became a thing because jellybean is only we gotta shoes four-and-a-half pounds so she was really jellybeans um and she's so little that it was hard to find a sweater pattern to fit her and so I would buy sweaters but they would be ridiculous and I got this gift card and that bought her is hand knit and it has bumblebees all over and it was super cute little shawl collar it was crazy expensive and the only reason I got it was someone gave me a gift card to the shop and so after I did that and we did holiday photos that year I was like I got it I'm not spending the money for this so I knit to myself the hand Jelena pull over and it's emerald green and it has the cabled yoke and she had used that ball of baroque ultra pakka as a pillow the entire time and I wasn't any wasn't like July the entire time she would snuggle up to the front and so when I finished and I said I've got almost a full ball left mind you she only takes about a quarter ball yarn I said I'm gonna sit here I know her measurements I know gauge cuz I just made this for myself let me do the math and figure it out and so I met her cable yoke and I even did all of this short Rocher things to curve the pin like mine and so I said okay this would be for holiday photos so my husband and asked me to he saw sweater he like of Instagram says he make this and it's shade the blue the top is white and then it's three shades of blue and then he didn't know I made share an identical one and then we took holiday photos and so he would been sick and he was like just tell me what to wear and I'll be downstairs like put your sweater on and she goes downstairs sits down next if he looks at her he looks this way for holiday photos today surprise and then jellybeans and I were matching and and people were like oh you should have switched dogs and I was like jellybeans only wanted me share only one of him and I just think it's hilarious that we were all coordinated oh so after that it just kind of became a thing and I think between that and this sort of said Kay from Mason Dixon knitting saw me it was like would you write for us about this process yeah I was like yeah sure and then I think that opened up a whole wide world of all you people out there who knit and love dogs and sweaters totally and before I put my armor messes on I was like you poster mate there's two dogs on its grant know like okay I don't care no you don't okay I don't carry my yeah you don't have to like it and then now they're like you post a picture of the dogs and ciders and people go nuts somebody because there are people who are crazy dog ladies like me who will let their dog sweaters too and want to know how to do it so it just have kind of became this fun thing if I got the yarn leftover you get a matching sweater I grew up with the dachshund to his hairless Chloe petting you not a joy she was she lived like almost 18 years she was a very healthy dog to the end but she had this it must have been like an autoimmune condition she was bald so she often had a sweater as well because she was always cold what I mean is um very bald on the top of her head and her belly fearless yeah so she needs clothes now the crafty Hong sisters they're my favorite are managed and the the crafty Han sister with the dog emotions many dogs every native mochi macho and marshmallow marshmallows my favorite that way yeah our school of marshmallow so she buys an extra skein yes I'm hurt with on purpose but you only do it if you have extra yeah I really do and only in five extra um cuz and then it's the thing every sweater that I'm making a clothes people like you shared go jelly because I'm like no I ya know it's but um mo you should have extra yarn and it didn't depends and it really depends on to how much I really like the yarn and that pattern or if I wanna do it they get really intricate like the Guthrie sweater I was not translating all that color work you know wasn't gonna do it just um so you didn't do a cuff of it I didn't do for the kids for the kids um I did to come visit us a little more straight this one's easier but you'll even see like on jelly beans the this isn't the same it's not as fold like the what I do Center e500 thing I that's not the same yeah so hers had to be made a little smaller because she doesn't have a lot of yoke that you're working way shares was normal and was fine yeah but I can't and they have pugs and shares have pug so you have more body to work with the brain the brains behind the two of them and like to sit there and to do all that charting to condense it like I love them I love seeing those does it makes me so heck yeah and it makes me feel good because I'm not the only person who goes gonna match to like it's almost like look I'm not a crepe yeah there are other people I kind of am obsessed with it I love it like it may be the one thing that would push me over to get a dog if I could knit for my dog except they poop which we've established that was something big I didn't have a dog for so long but you go he's get over it there's poop kids laugh at if I don't get them a dog mm-hmm okay what will we find on the blog um to go visit right now what what happens at yards of happiness lots of sweater knitting obviously um really I talk about my process a lot talk about a lock thing I talk about the dogs so many people have felt like sharing jellybeans heard their dogs too so shares been sick and I've been sharing like little updates unheard just so people know what's going on and it was really sweet my husband was my husband was overwhelmed by how many wonderful comments and stories people also shared about their dogs me ill and all that stuff too it's really I feel like I've created a fun little community if I have questions they answer and they have questions other people before I can even get to the comment sometime they will have answered and I love that thank you and it's really a lot of just this is what I'm making this is I'm thinking about making this is what yarn I bought everybody's like we're waiting for you well this weekend so that we can see what you bring back Mike my budget is smaller the um last year I bought my main goal was the year before 18 beautiful Swift that I wanted and I'm not sure that was my budget buster that was the bathroom but that was the main thing I really spent my money on last year they sure don't really have anything in mind so well that's it that's an interesting question though so when you go to shiipa mold what will it be about for you if you don't have something in mind a lot of times I so sometimes I really go I love miss Babs a lot and she's the nicest woman in the world remember the year she couldn't make it was it last year of the year before things a year before when everyone had the flu yeah and she didn't she couldn't come over later what do you mean you can't come right she's the nicest woman in the world and the colors are amazing so usually I scope out their booth and we'll buy at least two schemes of you houses I have a sweater quantity those are gonna like the dump like 200 grams 560 yards there you go Ahlan yeah and just one um I also will find I look for yarns that I've never bought before seen before I met recently a what was the show Oh puffy shawl and shades of purple and I had a really cool variegated insanely bright rainbow a purple yarn that was from an Indian color that I found Chieko wall and her use up like crazy acid rainbowy and then like kind of grittiness is what drew me to it and sometimes i think like i want to make jellybean a sweater and me a matching hat like head so I'll say I'll just get two skins and that's enough to do what I need to do but for me it's what's gonna draw my eye tempting you yarn is the maryland-based friends and I a do sparkle like nobody's business um I found the Michigan yeah I have that in my jeweler yeah and then and then I always good to see the local ones that I love like a neighbor I can see your neighborhood fiber hello name that's local yeah it's Baltimore um but I've done their dye workshops and stuff too so I like to see if they've introduced a new color or if they just have one year I bought one of my favorite color ways from them and carita was like yeah this batch is perfection and I was like and it's my favorite color so they filed it and I had already spent my whole budget and went there laughs and she was like I kind of like she's like even I have to say this was died to perfection I was like it's just so good so it really is usually whatever catches my eye whatever kind of piques my interest whatever makes me stop and go I want that so I like the theme who's new and then I love the fun maryland-based things I've lived in Maryland long if I consider this home so I love anything that's like a Maryland based colorway and all that stuff so I like to see what's out there I sometimes go with a pattern in mind and then other times like in the neighborhood fibre company I'll just be like well it's gonna be a sweater I just don't know which one and make sure I'll get my stash spot out and about I think okay the biggest sweater just in case you know or like I'll find like one extra just in case yeah and that's the thing cuz who always like oh do you buy the yarn do you know the sweater I don't and I don't know sometimes I will I sometimes that I will just buy the yarn but like this is gorgeous and I'll make up my own pattern sometimes I have a pattern in mind and I know like oh this needs to this hmm like I bought I don't do socks so I don't really have a lot of fingering and so but there was a skein of periwinkle sheep's sock weight yarn in this insane vivid cobalt blue that is my mother's color it looks borders on my mother my husband haven't be with me in the yarn shop when I picked it up and I said I don't know what this is going to become but this is going to become something from my mom and he goes yeah it's your mom's color and I just bought it yeah ends up I found a sweater pattern called asymmetry that uses DK weight yarn and then so you knit like front and backing at two halves and then you take fingering weight yarn to connect the two and it makes this wave so I did a limey green for the body and then I used that bright cobalt blue wave down the body of the sweater for my mom and my mom what's crazy so my mom loves this sweater wore it after my dad passed she traveled for the first time alone and was in North South Bend Indiana yeah and she said she was sitting at a bar having lunch by herself um and a woman came up to her and said did you knit this sweater and she said no but my daughter did and she goes I'm attending instructor and I saw your sweater crossing like it's beautiful do you mind if I have lunch with you and I was like sure like it thought of always like knitting kid breaking I Korea didn't bring people together in so many weird ways but it was one of those things she's traveling alone for the first time after my dad has passed it's I know it's one of those weird moments and then to suddenly just randomly make a friend because your daughter nature's weather has so I will sometime just randomly I don't know what you're gonna become but you need to come home but my stash is also overflowing as you saw upstairs so yeah I have more yarn than I could ever seriously want we need to have like some oh you know how on the public radio they're always like you can leave all your money to public radio I've thought that it's like what is my husband gonna do we need to have like some sort of like if God forbid hiv/aids to me I need a really good yarn friend to come in and manage my stash so that he doesn't have to I don't think about this he's gonna walk in that room with oh I don't I don't even know where to begin I know this like I know this yeah I have to share that there was a woman who was a very big supporter of my channel and she passed away suddenly recently and I didn't know because I you know when someone passed away suddenly they can't let you know that right yeah but her daughter reached out to me and mentioned it she just said I wanted to let you know what you meant to my mom and she passed away which is so sweet of her and my response to her was I know this is gonna sound very strange but if you would like any help with her you know just disseminating her yarn I am willing to do that because it's kind of a big job and it – it's expensive to send out but I just said I am willing to do that for you if that sounds like something that could help you kind of like the tone of the paper yeah so Jen so in a response if anything happens to me I need someone to be loving caring to my husband and say we'll handle the yarn we'll make sure it goes to good homes and good projects like that's what I care about that's what I care about there's this wonderful pattern called the fish lips kiss heel and in it it's very long it's like a dollar and it's pages long it's when I've tried to be a good sock knitter and in the pattern she mentions having everyone's foot pattern on hand so that you can knit for them but it reminds me of the fact that you have this small knit or the circle and you know their colors I know their color and another and notes and my yeah but I've done all their measurements oh I love that and I think that's a really good to take away for people today amongst all the other things have talked about is to have that in your phone yeah Apple notes hey look my best friend Steven I know all his dogs memory but Steven and Sophie get so if we get the sweater no Steven kids a happy cordoning I love um so I know permit Sherman yeah I know my sister's oh I know my mom's I know my husband's and my cousins and my best friend yeah and then that what his people always like how do you think the fits a world you have to know their measurements and that way I'm making sure even like I have a girlfriend who has a toddler who I adore I've made the toddler and their dog sweater sets and the toddler is now getting bigger so is she so so I said I need you to take me every six months I need a like like I need new measurements and I make sure that this cart dishing out a little sister and I want him to be a tree oh my gosh and I'm like no no I need to know she's like well she's really tall so I'm like no no I need to know so that I'm getting this right for her because there's nothing worse than doing something in there not in that fit and it broadens your shopping because then when you're a chicken wall you can just pull that out that moves over me good okay few more questions because I've taken up too much of your already but first of all have you ever gone to the New York Chapelle Festival no and everyone asks me CeCe Cecilia's always like you need to come I haven't done it oh my – I just think I should go at least one thank you – um so it's on my list it's on my list people um the problem though for me it's because I teach bad time a year it's a weird time right and I'm in our doctoral program in the fall too so I will getting PhD and teaching full-time now I have look I at any time after I think 3:30 on Thursday I can travel people but it's weird but CJ because I and the professor you don't get vacation because this year I was only teaching two days a week but it's we timing for totally all right but when you go will you knit a Rhinebeck sweater so yeah I can tell you yes I'm gonna try my sweater I'm always knitting this planet okay and I'm already thinking about the sweaters that I want to do this year for Christmas I have a nice question yeah I have an idea I don't know if my sisters will watch this but I have an idea where I want because it's always the three girls and so I want to make us these colorwork sweaters where let's say my sister and colors pink but the color work I do in yellow then my sweater might be yellow and the color work is great like do so great and then marina paint yeah oh I want to tie it all together you know what I have to do that for my Christmas card one year I think that's just one I simply like to give it as a gift I think that would be really cute I haven't figured out so the husband one yet the our holiday photo yeah is usually dictated based off of what he has asked me to make oh okay and my husband is very specific okay but sometimes it comes in where bursts and so he didn't tell me what he wanted until late and I didn't finish it in time for our holiday photos so he is actually not wearing a hand in our holiday photos 2018 yeah but the girls are and I am but I am that making him a really gorgeous shawl color best what she wears all the time so I'm not mad but um I already it's May and I've already been thinking about what I could tell you what I'm gonna knit what I'm trying to knit every from now until he is in your head it's in my head I'm sorry I don't I write a column now for mason-dixon enjoy a month about what sweaters are my mind because I'm always and it was funny cos K was like you know I don't want you to I'm like okay I start every column with a list of Tammy and I whittle it like I had for this this one it's gonna come out next week it started I sent her the wrong copy first she's like eight bingo no no no no no no my final version only have four I started with 12 I'm gonna work my way don't think this is never a problem I'm always looking i'm always looking at patterns I'm always on Ravelry or other places is always on Ravelry and then I will draw things up myself to try and figure out how I can make it I know my measurements really well so people always like oh you write sweater patterns and I'm like thank you for my son for me like if everybody wants to wear a size a 40 bucks a guy I got you I got you if you want positive me yeah if you have all these and I'm your girl but I don't know what grade so I don't sew in and I'm like it took all of this just right now so I don't I don't think beyond that so then I always feel bad feel like I have a sweater called the pink professor that people like I really like this it's a cool shawl collar sweater we wearing a pattern I'm like no but I'll tell you how I did it like I am I'm trying to be rude I just I don't that's not my wheelhouse okay I have a question in the modeling industry we do something called testing with a photographer so for the photographer to get photos for his or her portfolio it benefits him and then we as the model we have it for our portfolio so it's like a trait yeah so would you be open to someone who wants to practice creating creating one of your patterns yeah I'd do that I'd do that and if someone I mean someone on the blog effete I would help you I made a cape a couple years ago has a high collar I wanted to be a big you die like knit and then folded it down and seamed it so it's a really thick double collar well and a big button band and it's three different colors um a lot of people asked for that one and I was just like I didn't take enough copious notes to hand this into a pattern yeah but if someone and after that I started taking better notes because someone was like I would edit that for you yeah like I like putting it on and then like oh I should put armholes now like I I wasn't because just for me sorry so I did feel bad but that's winning is so cool because you can make one-of-a-kind original pieces that are just for you yeah okay um we should end this interview everybody talk too long but I just loved talking to you I cannot believe this really happened it's so funny because I've been following your feet for a long time and at the same time see seen our mutual friend was like do you need anything I'm like I know I'm of course I know and so I connected all the dots and realized that we work this weekend which is around ship more which I need so great and I want to take a photo with you with all our Tecumseh's because I feel jealous that I'm not in any of the family photos so I want to do that when we're done but before we go is there anything else you'd like to mention before we close um I just want to tell people I'm in 164 sweaters right you can't do and it's not that you needed in under 64 sweaters but know that you can make whatever it is that you want to make yeah stop telling yourself I can't do it because you can't we all have it in us you just sometimes you need to give yourself an internal pep talk and if you can't give yourself one message mail men's room and I'll give you you can do it all the time I do it all the time it's free it's a free coaching it's for Gocha and I'm like and I want you to send me progress photos to and they're like okay yeah so just message me I'll give me a pep talk – I love that underneath this video I will put links to your blog – mason-dixon knitting column to Instagram actually on your blog you have everything linked so maybe I'll just link to that page so you can find everything about Dana and hope that you can be on again that would be great yeah you did next year thanks for coming to visit me all the way Marilyn loved it


  1. Love love love this interview. So much I could say about how it touched me. Thank you. What crafty sisters did you mention?

  2. She is definitely a professor, I felt so inspired by this interview. Wishing I could be one of her students and chat knitting with her!! <3 This interview and LBA are my favorites.

  3. Dana, dog mothers/parents rock. Thanks for the interview ladies. And, a teal wall! Love me some teal. Dana! Please go to Rhinebeck this year. We can be Rhinebeck firsties together!

  4. I am in Ah! what a fascinating women. Love the interview so much. Thanks for presenting this wonderful women to all of us.

  5. Such a fun interview. Loved it! I said to my knitting girlfriends once… "There is no way I can live long enough to use up my yarn stash. When I die you all need to come and share it amongst yourselves so my family don't have to deal with it." I was only 50 at the time.

  6. The crafty what? Sisters? With the dogs? I didn't understand what you said, they sound like fun to watch. Thanks 🐶

  7. Thanks so much, Dana and Kristy. I just lost my Dad a couple of weeks ago and sitting in his hospice room knitting was a great stress reliever for me.

  8. Kristy – you did it again! What a great, thoughtful, kind and educational interview. Thank you so much.

  9. Thanks for all the inspiration I have finally been bitten into making sweaters and there are so many that I want to knit. My cats have warned me to not make anything form them.

  10. Thank you for introducing us to Dana! I loved this interview and always look to see all of her awesome projects on Ravelry. She is amazing!!

  11. Loved this interview. I follow Dana on Instagram loved her photos with her dog with matching sweaters. I’m traveling with my husband and stopped by Fibre space today. What a beautiful and welcoming yarn shop. Dana look forward to seeing this years Christmas card. Great job Kristy on another fabulous interview.

  12. I know that insane cobalt blue from Periwinkle! I wonder if she’ll make more…..hope so. Great interview!

  13. Loved this inerview so much. Having been following Dana on instagram for a while. so wonderful to hear her story in her voice. I'll certainly be looking for her at the next MD sheep and wool.

  14. A wonderful heartfelt conversation, thanks to you both for sharing. Color makes me happy and knitting beautiful colors is meditation for me as well. I am all heart eyes for your matching dog sweaters even though matchy-matchy is not really a style I am drawn to. I like the idea of a dog sweater and matching person-hat too. Unfortunately my dog is a Bassett hound and not only does he dislike coats but I don't think I could get a sweater on or off him without a ridiculous effort as he doesn't like his front paws handled. The Christmas card idea is SO good though!

  15. Dana is so authentic! I loved this interview. And I could relate to her “more is more” 💕💕💕

  16. Thanks for this interview. I had never heard of Dana before, but had to watch when I saw her, the dog, and sweaters. She is such a neat lady.

  17. Another great interview Kristy! Dana, you are so talented! Guess I should try knitting a sweater as my next project. Thanks!

  18. A wonderful interview. Yes, exactly about some Chi's needing garments to help them stay warm. Mine has almost no fur on her belly. I need to knit my Chi some sweaters.

  19. LOVE Jelly Bean!!! And the matching sweaters. Lucky pup!  Re: death of your Dad – SO HARD! I'm SO SORRY!!! Kristy, Dana's advice sounds best to me, all I could say is when you dad dies (knock on wood) buckle up and ride the ride – life is different, and will be forever more, your job now is to find your new normal, and learn to love it. Loss is real, and real hard! Losing my dad was so hard for me too, and he had been ill for 30 years… Bless you Dana and your family! I know that talking about my dad with people who knew him really helped me too, still does. AHH! tears…

  20. My husband and I are greatly relieved that our daughter, a knitter and designer, will inherit my stash.

  21. I love this so much. I also found new uses for my knitting in a crisis. Wonderful interview with an inspiring human. all good energy to you! xx

  22. Fun interview I would have liked to see more of her knitting. Picture of some of her finished pieces. Loved her very entertaining, I could listen to her all day long. BrambleKnits 🇨🇦

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